Defences North the Potomac
Camp Near Fort Lincoln
Head Qts. 11th Reg't Vt. Vols.
November 3rd, 1862.
My Dear Father & Mother;
As it has been a number of days since I wrote you I thought I would take a few moments this morning to let you know that I am in good health and enjoying life as well as I can. I think when I get a little more used to the climate here I shall be tough enough; We are having a very fine spell of weather here now; in fact we have had a most delightful fall; I think the climate is considerably milder here than in Vt.; still the cool bracing mountain air of Vermont suits me better. This would be a fine time to advance the army - as far as the weather is concerned - and I wish it could be done; I wish a decisive blow could be struck at the rebellion this fall, but I fear it may not; I do not see just now that a battle is near at hand; still there may be one, at no distant day; - I refer to the armies on the Potomac - I did not see the Vt. 16th - the one Rodney etc. were in - as I meant to. They have gone over the Potomac into Va. about ten miles from here; how soon they will move from where they now are I cannot tell, probably soon; I have an idea that the NineMouthsmen[??] will be put to the front, still we may be ordered on the first thing we know; you know I have written you that we expected to be made an Artillery Regt.. I was hoping the next time I wrote you to be able to state definitely in relation to it, but as the decision is not announced I cannot now state, but the probabilities are that we shall and that our winter quarters will be near here; when I find out about this I shall write you. In relation to a box, I will write you hereafter should we remain in this vicinity and it will be a better time to send after it is colder; the freights on such a box as I should want would be probaly some three dollars. Today it is very windy and the tent keeps shaking & flopping so that it is rather unpleasant writing. Yesterday was one very lovely day. The air was so very soft and balmy, so sunny & pleasant. I had to go to several posts on the line of Defences North of Washington - viz Forts Thayer, Saratoga, Bunker Hill, Slocum, and Massachusetts some seven miles from here on business for the Colonel; having a nice horse & saddle I enjoyed the ride very much; still I do not like the plan of so much business on Sundays, but in time of war we have to do the best we can. I had a letter from Uncle George Cressy the other day; usually well. I suppose your harvesting is pretty much or quite done, I should enjoy being with you very much; the thought that I may one day return to you cheers me in many a lonely hour & nerves me with strength to do present duty.
Alonzo I was much pleased to get your letter; hope you will write me often; Many thanks Marion & Rose for your kind letters; could you see the eagerness with which the boys take the home letters you would understand why they want so many letters from home. Where is Ada now? Remember me to her and tell her to write me. Emma I suppose is at Springfield, is she well? When you write her give her my kindest wishes. I was very sorry to learn of the death to Hattie Bourn; Nelson & Lucinda must feel very badly; please give them a sympathizing word for me, telling them that I remember them in their bereavement. I expect there will be changes in my own little neighborhood ere three years shall have passed, when perhaps I shall return to you; God grant that I may see you yet again alive & well. But whatever providence may be in the future, God grant we may be prepared for it. But I will write you briefly this time, asking you to immediately reply. Enclose a stamp or two if you have them whenever you write me; sometimes it is a little troublesome to obtain them.
I am fearful that England & France will recognize the Southern Confederacy unless we do something soon.
I must close now wishing that Heaven [??] blessings may ever attend you.
As ever Your Loving Son
Norman is getting better.
Defences North the Potomac
Head Quarters 11th Regt. Vt. Vols.
Camp Near Fort Lincoln
November 6th 1862
Dear Folks at Home - I hope you will pardon me for writing again so soon; I have no news except perhaps of local interest. I have just rcv'd a visit from Rev. George N. Cressey Baltimore Md which was very pleasant to me; Yesterday some one called out near the Office door "Newton where are", I looked and behold the Reverend gentleman stood at the door, with a Basket in one hand and a carpet bag in the other; after expressing a little surprise at such an array I concluded in connection with the Reverend to examine to some extent the contents of said receptacle, and ascertain the adaptability of such articles a soldier's wants. behold the items; here were two quarts of nice fresh oysters just from the shell; beside some in a little jar already cooked; a nice loaf of Wheat Bread not yet cold from the oven in Baltimore; a splendid sponge cake made by Aunt Mary- Uncle George's wife - herself; some nice cookies; a lemon pudding and a cocoa pudding; two nice apple pies, a frosted fruit cake - I think it is -; three glasses of jellies or preserves; some very nice apples; and a lot of excellent pickles; a chicken already cooked, beside a lot of papers, tracts etc.; to be sure one man no larger than Uncle George could not bring everything, as he had to bring it by hand from the depot; but I tell you he brought a pretty good lot of stuff. I gave a large lot of papers & tracts to the Chaplain of the Reg't. I was very much pleased to get this present; here in camp we know how to appreciate it, such luxuries from home as it were seem reviving and make one feel sort of good This morning I cooked part of the oysters in milk and butter and then ate bread in [??] which went very nicely indeed; it really seemed as though I was in Vt. in civilized life. Uncle George staid with me over night. He has gone to Washington and I expect to see him again before he goes back to Baltimore; perhaps he will stop with me over night tonight. I cannot say. I enjoy his visits very much. I am glad I am where I can see any of my friends and especially one whom I prize as I do Uncle George. I cannot tell you whether we shall remain here this winter or not, but probaly we shall; when I know I shall inform you; if I am here you can send me a box by & by; and if Father you think best you can come and bring it to me yourself - but of this again "as usual". The news are here that New York had gone for Seymour as Governor - I am truly sorry, as he is about half Secessionist, and I think the moral effect will be very bad. I think the army will keep advancing slowly and steadily, and I think there will be something done soon; I do hope something will be done; something must be done if we would save the country; the cause of humanity; the cause of freedom & the Country demand is.
Nov. 7, 62 Yesterday I broke off writing rather abruptly but will try and say a word or two more. Uncle George came back last night and staid with me; how good it seems to have him come; it seems as though I was not away from all my friends, but that some at least are near. This afternoon he left me, going down to Blodensburg to stop with a friend and to take the cars there tomorrow morning for Baltimore. His visit did me much good, I hope he may call on me again. Today is one of the most troublesome day I have seen here, in fact by far the most unpleasant; it makes me think of a cold blustering March day; it has been snowing somewhat all day and the wind blowing violently; it has been a tremendous day; Uncle George said he did not see such a day last winter. A number of inches of snow have fallen, but some of it has melted, and there are some quite drifts; it seems like Vt. winter sure enough; it is a hard time for the soldiers; it seems that the armies must suffer considerable this winter; I hope all will be done that can be done to render comfortable the soldier, he has hardships to encounter, hard enough if all is done that can be done to make him comfortable. I must pause now & write a little more by & by.
Nov. 8th I have let another day slip and have not sent this, but will finish it and send it in the morning's mail. This morning, Uncle George came back her instead of going to Baltimore. I have been around here today with him, visited the Hospital etc About two o'clock this afternoon he started for the depot to take the cars for Baltimore, where he will arrive tonight I expect. His visit did me lots of good; I hope he may come again. He sends his love; I wish father you could pay me such a visit. Wouldn't I enjoy it! Today it is quite pleasant and therefore much more comfortable than yesterday. The Army of McClellan is gradually moving Southward and I hope we shall hear of them soon; there may be no battle immediately but things are working. I must close Good Bye, God bless you all. As ever from your Loving Son & Brother. Newton
Defences North the Potomac
Head Quarters 11th Reg't. Vt. Vols.
Fort Slocum - Nov. 2 1862
My Dear Father & Mother;
Your kind letters came to hand today - Sunday - and I was very glad to hear from you; I had watched the P.O. for some days anxiously, and began to think you had forgotten to write once a week; however the long looked for missive came at last, and I now hasten to reply. I am now at Fort Slocum about three miles or a little more North of Washington; perhaps a little West of North. We are considered in Winter Quarters, but there is much labor to be done in order to get things fixed for winter. It has been rather unpleasant for the last week, raining much of the time, and consequently making the ground very muddy. Father I have heard you speak of muddy places, & I think you would call this one. At this Fort there four companies of the 11th VT. and near by the 143 Pa are encamped. This fort now mounts some thirteen guns; some of them are large; there are three Morters; they are now enlarging the fort so that when it is completed it will be a monstrous fort, capable of mounting I should think seventy-five guns; if you have never been inside a fort, it is well worth while to look over those instruments of destruction. The fort has to be kept in good order; ammunition has to be seen to and a thousand and one things attended to. The Ordinance Sergeant, who has the charge of the guns ammunition of the fort etc. having resigned, I am acting temporarily in this capacity; there will be one appointed soon probaly; these Ordnance Sergeants are usualy appointed from among those sergeants who have been years in the service, it being a very responsible place. My health is good, I am fleshier than when you last saw me, my cheeks stick out pretty well, and I am looking quite Aldermanic; I hope my health may continue good, for I can get along if I am only well. There has been considerable sickness in the regiment; a good many cases of jaundice and the like. I am sorry that there is so much sickness around in our vicinity; I fear the diptheria is going to be a scourge; I hope you may all be spared from it, for I should hate to have any of you have it. Remember me to Uncle Winslow & tell him that I feel for him in his affliction. It does not seem that Dana Pritman[??] is dead; death visits the green hills of Vt. as well as the banks of the Potomac. I will stop writing now and get some supper and then perhaps resume my pen.
Sunday evening after supper;
After eating my supper of sweetened tea & bread I will write a little more. In relation to that box, you have probaly got my letter respecting it, you might put in a little popcorn if handy. As to the size of the box you can judge something from the amount of articles you conclude to send. I think I mentioned sending a chicken; I think you have not better do this as the box might get delayed, and the chicken spoil, and spoil other things in the box. I would like a pair of under shirts, no matter if they are old ones. I have thus written you respecting the box that you might have time to fix up the stuff; the next time I write I think I will tell you how to send it etc. Such a box I should know how to appreciate, and everthing would be doubly dear because from home. Be the way when you write me put in a stamp or two as sometimes I am bothered a little to get them. Father have you drawn any of my state pay yet and have you settled up with Minifield? We have not been paid anything since we came here, so money sums pretty low.
Today I went to church in a regular Meeting house, where it really seemed like going to church; it is an Episcopal church, where Washington used to worship; the bricks of which were brought from England; the church has been fixed over since Washington worshipped there.
There is no particular news which I have to tell you in relation to the war further than you read in the papers. Probaly we shall hear from Burnside before long. I want the army of the Potomac to do something. I want to hear from you all very often; write me once a week. I must close; I write you short this time contrary to my usual custom. Dear Father & Mother good night God bless you; may me meet again. Good bye. From your Loving Son. N.
Your letter did me much good. Let me hear from you often. N.
Mother I think I will write to Emma before a great while. N.
Defences North the Potomac
Head Quarters 11th Regt. Vt. Vols
Fort Slocum D.C.
December 26th 1862
My Dear Father and Mother;
Your very welcome letter was duly received, yesterday & I hasten to reply. I had been looking for a long time as it seemed to me - for a home letter and at length it came; you did very well as to length; Rose did remarkably well. you see I love to get a detailed history of affairs; particulars are interesting to me. Now father I can imagine just how you looked seated at the table peering over the top of those wonderful fourteen cent glasses writing to your boy on the Potomac. Do you remember soon after you obtained those telescopes on a small scale - glasses - of getting them on to file a saw, and being obliged to take them off to see; and soon after when you went out to limbing apple trees of my hulloing & asking if I should bring your glasses? However I suppose they are a valuable pair, & sir allow me to respectfully suggest that you get them insured. I should like to be with you assisting in chopping thrashing etc., and if I had any spare time doubtless I could make myself useful about the house. My general health remains about the same, was weighed today - 170 lbs.- In relation to my mustache which you inquire about, I hardly think it has grown in proportion, still it is something of an affair & is noticed and commented upon to considerable extent. In relation to the box etc. send what you please, I shall be satisfied; don't be afraid of giving me the dyspepsis! You will take the hint. Direct the Box N. Newton Glazier
Co. G, 11th Regt. Vermont Vols
Care of Capt. Charles Brixton.
Use this address instead of the other I gave you, or it will make little difference.
I was sorry to hear of the death of Paul Yay[??]; thus it is men die everywhere, at home, abroad no matter where one is he is not secure from death. Are we all prepared? Thank you for the stamps and papers they are very gladly received. I was a little surprized to hear that the Dog Law had passed; My kind regards to Hatch[??] and tell him I hope that by good behavior, usefulness and above all by good looks he will escape harm. In regard to the war I do not see much prospect of a speedy termination; still I think before another summer the crisis will have passed. Our defeat at Frederiksburg was not as bad as at first supposed, I presume you will have accounts of the battle in the papers long before this reaches you. Although a repulse still I have faith in Burnside & the power of the Nation to overcome the rebellion.
The weather here has been very pleasant for some time. This evening it rains a little; no snow; roads good. They are at work here now enlarging the old fort; the fort and ditch around it must cover I should think some four acres. In the old fort there are 14 guns, mortars and all, in the new they will have some 60 or over; then, 100 pounder [??] I expect.
I am having a very pleasant easy time now; my duties as Ordnance Sergt. are not very laborious, as I have plenty of men to do the work while I see to it. I don't have to work at all unless I am a mind to except see to business & keep the papers, etc. right. I get some 9 dollars per month & extra too. As to having comfortable quarters, I have very; the Colonels office is a stockade building 9 x 18; tent cloth for a roof, a good board floor, stove etc.; it is truly very comfortable; in one fort the Office Clerk & I have a Bunk where we sleep nicely, undress & go to bed like white folks. I wish every soldier has as good quarters. I think in all probability we shall remain here till Spring, perhaps longer. We have been made into an Artillery Regiment which I like much.
Tell Fred to let me hear from him, & not forget his brother. I am glad that he is at home, or near home. I have been glad many times that he did not enlist. But I must close; let me hear from you once a week. Nate is well. Good night! May God Bless you My loved Ones at the Old Gray Cottage & grant that we may meet again, As ever your Loving Son Newton.